Job descriptions and industry overviews

Market research executive: job description

21 Jun 2023, 15:39

Market research executives collect and analyse data for market research projects.

Market research in progress

What does a market research executive do? Graduate salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Market research executives gather and analyse data about customers’ needs, behaviour, beliefs and preferences – essential information for teams launching new products or refining existing ones.

Typical duties include:

  • consulting clients about project requirements and objectives
  • designing research methods such as interviews and questionnaires
  • carrying out qualitative or quantitative research
  • agreeing timescales and budgets
  • supervising staff
  • briefing interviewers
  • keeping detailed records of progress to ensure the research process is not compromised
  • writing reports, and interpreting and presenting findings
  • making recommendations to clients and/or colleagues.

It’s common for market research executives to work either for an agency (known as ‘supply side’), where you work on different clients’ projects, or in-house (known as ‘client side’), where you work on projects within your own organisation.

Whether you work for an agency or in-house, you’re likely to work standard ‘office’ hours (9.00am–5.00pm) although you may not work in an office full time. You may need to work longer hours when deadlines are approaching, and you may need to travel to meet clients or colleagues in other locations from time to time.

Graduate salaries

Salaries for market research executives start at around £20,000, according to The Market Research Society. Your earnings will increase as you gain experience, which is likely to happen quickly in this role.

Typical employers of market research executives

  • Market research agencies
  • Management consultancies
  • Government departments
  • Advertising agencies
  • Commercial organisations
  • Manufacturers
  • Large charities.

Vacancies are advertised by careers services and specialist jobs boards such as, and

Not all jobs are widely advertised, so be prepared to network and make speculative applications.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this profession for university graduates and school leavers.

Most employers seek graduates with experience of developing research projects and carrying out data analysis, so a degree in social sciences, business, maths, geography or economics will be an advantage. You could also consider a specialist postgraduate marketing qualification to build or boost your skills.

Competition for jobs in this field is tough so work experience will help your job applications stand out. Look for internships, vacation work and volunteering opportunities that will help you build the skills recruiters look for. Experience of canvassing or market research interviewing is particularly useful.

School leavers can take a marketing apprenticeship, which involves working towards a qualification while working in a relevant job.

Key skills for market research executives

Employers in this sector will be seeking these skills:

  • commercial awareness
  • excellent analytical skills
  • organisational skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • numerical skills
  • excellent communication skills, both written and spoken
  • attention to detail
  • experience using specialist statistical software
  • problem-solving skills.

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